Apex court wants stiff penalty for pesky calls

March 25th, 2008 - 11:48 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 25 (IANS) The Supreme Court Tuesday asked the central government to amend its law within eight weeks to provide for stiff penalties to service providers and telemarketing companies for making unsolicited calls. A bench of Justice Ashok Bhan directed the central government to file a compliance report giving details about the mechanism being adopted to impose harsher penalties, as per the recommendation of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to check unsolicited calls.

The court issued the directions after Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam said that the authorities would need some time to amend the law to implement revised penalties ranging from Rs.5,000 to Rs.20,000.

The TRAI has proposed stiff penalty on banks and mobile service providers making pesky calls despite subscribers registering with the ‘National Do-Not-Call Registry’.

Subramaniam told the court that the telecom regulator had notified that service providers would be subjected to a fine of Rs.5,000 for the first unsolicited commercial call made to a subscriber enlisted with the Do-Not-Call Registry and Rs.20,000 for every subsequent call.

It would act as a deterrent and reduce the nuisance and inconvenience caused to mobile phone subscribers, the law officer added.

Subramaniam said the guidelines and regulations of the Do-Not-Call Registry have been in place since September 2007.

Counsel Vivek Tankha and Prashant Kumar, appearing for petitioner Harsh Pathak, however, contended that there was no mechanism to implement the regulations.

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